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S. Korea's baseball governing body bans Baltimore scouts from local games

All Headlines 17:58 March 19, 2012

SEOUL, March 19 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean governing body of amateur baseball said Monday it has taken steps to ban scouts from the Baltimore Orioles in U.S. Major League Baseball from attending local games.

The Korea Baseball Association said it posted a notice in a stadium in Seoul that reads, "This stadium is off-limits to scouts from Baltimore Orioles."

The notice will be posted in about 20 other stadiums across South Korea, an official of the association said. He asked not to be identified, citing policy.

The move came two months after the Baltimore Orioles acquired pitcher Kim Seong-min, a 17-year-old left-hander high school student and reportedly signed him to a US$550,000 contract.

The Korea Baseball Organization, which runs the country's top professional league, claimed Baltimore did not tender a status check, a step required for MLB clubs under the two leagues' player contract agreement before approaching South Korean amateurs and pros.

The Orioles later apologized for their "unintentional breach of protocol." MLB on Feb. 16 fined the Orioles an unspecified amount and said it would hold the contract for 30 days.

The Korea Baseball Association has suspended Kim from playing and coaching in South Korea indefinitely for violating a local rule preventing underclassmen from contacting a pro club.

Players outside the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico can join major league teams as international free agents after they turn 16.
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